Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Home and Garden

Community Living: Line of credit raises questions

Q: Our management company negotiated for a line of credit to cover necessary roof replacements. I am on the board and none of the directors were included in the negotiations. A special assessment that was a monthly payment over four years was approved to cover this loan. To avoid payment of the loan interest, many owners wanted to pay the full amount up front. This request has been refused by management. What can we do to pay up front?

A: There must be more to this situation than addressed in your letter. Most lenders will require the board to sign the loan not the manager. Managers have no right to create obligations as you present. Because of the obligations required by lenders, I only suggest loans as the last option. Most lenders will require the board to personally sign for the loan and commit the right to collect fees from the owners to protect their loans.

If your board did not enter into creation of the loan and did not instruct management to seek a loan, then you need a new board and a new manager. The board would have the right to appoint the manager to gather loan information but not the right to commit the association.

At the same time the board should gather information as to how the project will be paid. Your reserve budget should have included roof replacement. If you do not have the funds in reserves, past boards made an error not to include it in the reserve budget. I am sure that I do not have all the details and cannot provide information to answer the question of advance payments. You need to find out who authorized the loan and what the terms were.

Condo doesn't do windows? Maybe

Q: Our condominium documents say that the association is responsible for the undecorated and unfinished surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors and ceilings surrounding the condominium unit. It refers to the areas of maintenance such as roof, gutter, downspouts, exterior building surfaces, trees, landscaping and other improvements. It says that exterior maintenance shall not include glass surfaces. To me, when it says exterior surfaces, that would include window repairs and replacement but not cleaning windows. Windows are not referred in any other section of the documents.

My windows leak but the board will not make repairs. They are saying that owners are required to purchase caulk and do our own waterproofing. I have sent a certified letter to the board. I have talked to an attorney and he does not want to deal with my "small" problem. Can you provide me with any guidance?

A: Door and window maintenance requirements are different for each condominium. There is no standard answer for this question. If the documents are not clear, then an attorney must review the documents and publish a policy for the board and members to understand. If the board is unwilling to review the matter, then you have the option of engaging an attorney or doing the work yourself.

Or you can talk to your neighbors and attempt to elect a new board that is more understanding to the problem.

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